Politics 10 Things in Politics: Biden's Arizona election-audit problem
Arizona GOP boasts 1 million ballots counted in Maricopa County audit
The Arizona Senate's 2020 election audit in Maricopa County is nearing the halfway point in its count of the 2.1 million ballots cast in the November contest. © Provided by Washington Examiner Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, talked about the progress of the controversial review in a Memorial Day video posted to Twitter and addressed a report that the GOP-led legislature is considering yet another recount that goes beyond the current examination of ballots specifically for the Senate and presidential election.
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Here's what we're talking about:
One thing to watch for: President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus pandemic at 1:15 p.m. ET during his first presidential overseas trip.
With Jordan Erb
1. RAISING THE ARIZONA QUESTION: Pressure is. Elections experts tell Insider that there is a need for the federal government to get involved given the lack of transparency about what even local Republican officials have dismissed as a sham.
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- Key quote: "Everyone has pointed out the myriad of problems with the so-called audit, and yet it continues on," said Grant Woods, a former Republican attorney general of Arizona who has become a Democrat. "At some point, we're going to have to make a point in this country that you can't do this." Woods said he had reached out to the DOJ to encourage it to deploy people to Arizona who could more closely monitor the audit.
But officials are far from united in what Washington should do:
Some advised staying as far away as possible: One official worried that the unintended consequence of such an action could be akin to the deadly Capitol riot. "Could there be another riot or interaction like they had on January 6? You bet," said Steve Gallardo, the only Democratic official on the board of supervisors in Maricopa County.
Email dump shows Arizona Senate president touting 'personal call' from Trump on election fraud claims
More than 500 emails related to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann's correspondence about the audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County were released on Friday. They showed the Republican talking about being in touch with former President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani in the months leading up to the review. © Provided by Washington Examiner FILE - In this May 26, 2020, file photo, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, speaks to the media in Phoenix. A budget deal struck between Republican leader Fann and Rep. Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, and Gov. Doug Ducey includes implementing a flat 2.
- Others think the best thing to do is nothing at all: If Democrats believe the audit "is a train wreck, then they should let the train run off the track, not stop the train from breaking," said Bennie Smith, a Democratic election official in Tennessee, who has traveled to Arizona to monitor the audit.
The DOJ has warned Arizona's Senate president that the audit could be violating federal law: Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, expressed concern to the Arizona Senate's president, Karen Fann, about reports that ballot and other election materials were being destroyed and compromised under the supervision of Cyber Ninjas, the cybersecurity firm hired to help with the audit that has no previous election-related experience.
The audit may also be done soon: Ken Bennett, the Arizona Senate liaison overseeing the Maricopa County audit, said the hand count could finish this week with a report issued late next month or early August.. Local officials have also promised to challenge whatever report is issued.
OAN correspondent who is covering the Arizona election audit has been aiding the effort since at least December, documents show
The Trump-approved network has also been given primary access to livestream the much-maligned audit.Audit-related documents requested and published by The Center for Public Integrity and watchdog We Are Oversight reveal that Christina Bobb, host of "Weekly Briefing" on OAN was supplying Arizona Senate President Karen Fann with witness declarations, statements, and expert testimony in early December to help bolster the Republican-led effort to undermine election results in Maricopa County, where President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by 45,000 votes.
- But it's unlikely that Arizona will be the end of this: Lawmakers from several states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Colorado, have traveled to Arizona to observe the audit. .
2. Four million Americans quit their jobs in April - a 20-year record: Companies were advertising 9.3 job million openings at the end of April, up 12% from the previous month, the Labor Department said. The number of vacancies grew most in the accommodation and food-service sectors, which are opening up after more than a year of pandemic restrictions..
3. The Pentagon is reportedly weighing airstrikes after Afghanistan withdrawal: Military officials are looking into the possibility of supporting Afghan forces with airstrikes depending on the threat of the Taliban taking control over a major city in the country, The New York Times reports. The Biden administration initially planned to end US air support when troops were withdrawn, but concern over the consequences of withdrawal is said to have prompted it to reconsider..
Arizona election audit draws Republican tourists
The hottest new destination for political tourists this summer is a barren and crumbling arena surrounded by an empty parking lot, where off-duty law enforcement officials providing security lounge under a flimsy plastic tent to escape the punishing sun and triple-digit heat radiating off the cracked asphalt. © The Hill Arizona election audit draws Republican tourists Inside Phoenix Memorial Coliseum, a parade of Republican legislators from across the nation have come to observe an audit of the more than 2.1 million votes cast last year in Maricopa County, an examination ordered by the Republican-controlled Arizona state Senate.
4. Progressives draw a red line on infrastructure talks: A handful of Democratic senators went public with their outrage after a White House official acknowledged during an interview that Biden might not get some of his most ambitious climate proposals in a final infrastructure bill, Politico reports..
- Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts:
5. Watchdog says protesters were not cleared for a Trump photo op: Law-enforcement officials cleared Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, to put up fencing - not to enable then-President Donald Trump's now-infamous photo op at St. John's Church in June 2020, an internal watchdog for the Interior Department concluded in a report. The report focused largely on the Park Police and did not interview Secret Service officials or other agencies about what happened that day..
6. US reportedly set to buy 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses to ship around the world: The Biden administration is lining up 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's two-dose coronavirus vaccine, The Washington Post reports. This latest development comes on the heels of the Biden administration promising 80 million vaccine doses to be exported in conjunction with the World Health Organization's COVAX effort..
Arizona auditors near finish of hand recount as out-of-state GOP pilgrimages continue
Arizona's problem-plagued audit has finished its hand recount of most of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County last November, with just braille ballots and those that had to be duplicated because they were damaged left to count, an audit spokesman said Monday. © AZaudit.org Arizona mail in ballot audit Randy Pullen, a spokesman for the audit commissioned by state Senate Republicans, said auditors are now looking for an attorney who can read braille. About 50,000 braille ballots were cast in last year's election.
7. World's largest beef supplier paid $11 million to hackers: JBS made a ransom payment to hackers after they temporarily knocked out the company's plants that process roughly one-fifth of the US's meat, The Wall Street Journal reports. A top executive said the payment was made to shield the company from further disruption and to try to minimize the hack's effects on the supply chain..
8. Dr. Fauci has had enough: Dr. Anthony Fauci lashed out at his critics, saying the recent string of attacks on him were "quite frankly, attacks on science."
9. A New York mayoral frontrunner tried to put to bed concerns that he lives in New Jersey: Brooklyn's borough president, Eric Adams, showed reporters a basement unit in a row house where he insisted he lived when not sleeping in the office. A Politico New York investigation raised questions on where Adams lived given conflicting public information and where he'd been observed sleeping most nights. Adams previously said he was living in his office..
10. A herd of 15 elephants is wandering around China and wreaking havoc: The elephants have been on the move for a year, since they left their reserve in the Yunnan province in southwestern China. On their journey, they have knocked on people's doors, put their trunks through residents' windows, strolled into a car dealership, and destroyed over $1 million of crops..
Today's trivia question: Congress has seen many lawmakers represent more than one state during their careers. But James Shields is the only senator to have represented three states. Can you name more than one of them? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at.
- Yesterday's answer: Later America's second president, the diplomat John Adams had the delicate task of presenting his credentials to King George III as the US's first ambassador to the UK. .
Pennsylvania poised to begin Arizona-style election audit with subpoena power .
Pennsylvania appears to be on the precipice of initiating an Arizona-style audit of the 2020 election. © Provided by Washington Examiner State Sen. David Argall, who heads a committee that oversees elections, told local news outlets he favors a forensic audit of the contest that state and federal officials insist was secure. The Republican, under pressure by former President Donald Trump to take action, told the Capital-Star the audit is now a “very real possibility." The report said he is considering subpoenas for ballot information and which jurisdictions to send them.